Though money’s not allowed when you get to Burning Man, there aren’t any rules about how much change you drop before you head to the playa. As is so often the case when festivals become popular, the original stash of artistic, perma-shrooming, ambiguously-employed “Burners” who flocked to the Nevada desert every August for the last decade or two has become cut with more and more corporate honchos looking for an excuse to become “unplugged” for a week. And, apparently, many of these 1%-ers are hitting up New York’s legendary Screaming Mimis vintage store for their costuming needs, spending the equivalent of four round-trip tickets to Reno, Nevada for furry headdresses, steampunk goggles and leather gear…One CEO who’s giving a TED talk at the festival stopped in to buy a kilt, top hat and goggles to wear during his presentation. Another customer had his pseduo-personal assistant call the store to “vet them” for their inventory and whether they could give him personal assistance. Perhaps not surprisingly, a chauffeured car idled outside while he came in to scope out the headdresses and leather vests. “He was actually a really wonderful guy and was so excited and into it,” Wills remembers. The best thing Will says she’s noticed is that her Burning Man customers — whether art students or hedge funders — are “the most fun people.” “A completely conservative guy came in wearing chinos and an oxford shirt and bought a headdress, goggles and an astronaut jumpsuit and helmet we had. But when we were ringing everything up, he said, ‘One second,’ and ran over and grabbed a bright electric blue tutu,” Wills says. “he plunked it down and said, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably just end up wearing this the whole time.’” [Paper Mag via Dealbook]
Three former Merrill employees, originally convicted of conspiracy and fraud in 2004 and subsequently exonerated in 2006, may be back on the stand soon to explain their roles in helping Enron commit fraud. The ex-Merrillites got a pass in 2006 when an appeals court determined government tried the original case improperly. At issue is their little scheme whereby Enron “sold” 3 barges to Merrill to help meet its profit targets and then took them back in 6 months. Merrill earned a guaranteed return on the “sale” which bears a striking resemblance to a lease. Should the government not trip over its own feet for a second time, Andy Fastow may have some new cellmates.
Ex-Merrill bankers may be retried over Enron fraud [Reuters]